Donkey in this week's Donkley is me...

Feeling bullet proof, I guess from running so well in the Harrahs weekly, I squandered opportunites and pissed away chips. I made no fewer than three fairly big mistakes.

Early on I caught KK and knocked out the attorney with whom I've shared the last two final tables. He had about a half stack and shoved on me hoping my reraise was a button steal. He had 9s and my KK held. That felt good. I also got the ace/queen out of the hand that would have scooped most of the pot.

Cue mistake hand number 1:

So I promptly, get KQ in late position. Raise. Called by BB and a limper. Flop is K high. Old man in BB leads out. Loose player who limped and called my pf raise folds. I see the rock has 2k behind. I know he has AK. I hope I'm wrong and set him in. Can't just call there, because he can shove any hand later. Might as well make him think about his tournament life. But, correct play is fold because I know I'm beat and keep an extra 2500. Especially in that tournament structure. That's a lot of chips early.

I flop a set of queens. Told you I squandered an opportunity. I turn a full house and after checking every street a guy in the big blind bets, finally. I min raise. He hollywoods and shoves. He rivered a straight. He can't fathom or see my full house when I call. After it's explained he lost the hand, and he realized I limped pocket Queens preflop, I got a nice stack again.

Cue mistake hand number 2:

A guy gets knocked out after I do a table change, and I'm not paying attention getting my huge chip stack organized. I think I missed the bb and fire it in. I pull it back when I realize it's not mine, glance at QJ suited and say f it and limp. Get another limper, then a min-raise, and the two blinds fold. Sweet, that's what I get for playing QcJc can't fold here for this price. Though I get this feeling I just dug a hole and it's going to get deeper.

Flop comes 10c8c4x. Nice. Looks like I'm stuck to this pot. I throw out a blocking bet (1500). Call, call. Turn is a K. I throw out same bet. Call. Raise to 5k. I call. Other dude folds. River bricks. I check, he checks behind with KQ. If I shove, I might get him off. Still, why play QJ under the gun as a limp.

Now, I'm short, get nothing but wide numeric gaps (9-2,8-3,7-2), a little later UTG with barely a little more than three times the big blind, I decide I'm shoving if I get any paint. I look at a 9 than a 10 o/s. I've taken my time before looking and notice a lot of players that have peeked are given hand tells they are going to play this pot. Couple of tight guys are loading up. Am I going to be isolated by an overpair? For some reason, I fold. I is stupid.

A big pot starts and nobody is isolated. I would have had the chance to quadruple up. Flop is 887. Turn is the old six ball. JJ beats AK after shedding two players and BB who went all in preflop just mucks. Fun. Would have been right back in the game. 109 is an almost perfect hand for my situation, what was I waiting for? I don't know... maybe for my brain to come back into my head after momentarily leaving it, I guess.

I get bounced calling a raise, blind, in the BB. Had 65.

Alex and I traded 10%. I had decided I was playing cash anyway if I didn't final table it, but since he was still alive I had motivation to wait around and hopefully collect. Sure enough at 10 handed Alex says he doesn't want to chop, coming in as the big stack after knocking out two people with pocket 7s and turning quads. They give him second place money and I get almost a freeroll. We bet the soccer game, his choice, and he picked South African over New Zealand (who I wanted to take as they were the home team) but as he knew nothing about soccer I gave him the choice. He won and got to keep a little more cash. Sports betting is fun. Even when you lose.

BTW, some quick soccer thoughts. It's cool how Bafana Bafana (the nickname for the S.A. national team) is uniting South Africa in advance of the World Cup. Meanwhile the U.S. team looked like a ground squirrel and Brazil the cat playing with it's prey in a long slow death dance before it killed it. It was almost like when the felt like it, they'd bash us across the skull with a timely goal.

The national team looked completely outclassed. Next years, world cup, which to me in the 1990s with the promise of our youth teams was one I circled thinking we'd finally compete, is now looking like another embarassment for us on the international stage. I still hold out some hope, but it is striking how much international players progress from the ages 17-21 and our kids almost regress.

The best American player, the striker soccer fans have long dreamed of scored twice in the U.S. Italy game. Only problem the 21 year old who grew up his entire life in New Jersey, and after the game called America home and he was delighted for all his family in Jersey to see him score twice, played for Italy. We still got a year to go, though we'll never have Giuseppe Rossi play for us... but our chances look bleak.

Okay, sorry for the soccer interlude back to the pokering...

Then I played cash. Made a big laydown with KK on a 7 high board. Kind of got lucky because of the action. Preflop I raised. Button called, SB called. Post flop SB (wild and loose) checked, I bet, rock on the button called, small blind raised it up. He could be doing this with A7 but I just know I'm beat by somebody. I fold letting my corner see my laydown. Funny thing is good player on my left says "You took that long to fold that hand?" and at the same time the guy having a rough day on my right says "How can you fold that!" Rock on button shoves, SB calls. Set of 7s vs. AA. Guy on my right goes "Wow, what a laydown."

I just got lucky on that hand, the small blind disguised his AA well but cost himself his stack because if he pumps me back preflop 7s aren't in there and I don't fold to his flop shove or we get it all in preflop cause his range is galactic. Why a guy like that would think it's a good move for him to disguises bullets with a call is beyond me. His mere playing style disguises bullets.

I run pretty good on the cash tables that day. But made a big mistake when I rivered second nuts in a huge three way pot (I was ahead the whole time). One guy is already all-in, this wild Asian I think only has 150 left, I decide he's pot stuck I'll just shove. He tanks and finally folds. I can't believe it. AK is toast and Asian fist pumps when he sees my AJ full house. I then notice he's got a column of greens behind his reds and actually had me covered, no idea he was that deep.

I check he might shove, his style, or if I throw out a value bet, he at least calls but might come over the top. So mad, I cost myself hundreds on the hand. Kind of like the tournament, you only get so many days like that. Same is true of cash, you HAVE to exploit those opportunities when you get them.

Little later get a timely phone call to go home. It's nice to run good. Despite having a mistake filled afternoon, turned a profit, but what might have been...


Reid said…
We were embarrassingly outclassed by both Italy and Brazil... It was such a joke. We have no organizing force in the midfield, and our attack is laughable. We sorely lack the steady (albeit unspectacular) presence of someone like Claudio Reyna who can anchor the midfield. The backline/keeper positions are the only redeemable spots right now. We're lucky to not have surrendered 10 goals in those two games.

I'll be shocked if Bradley makes it through the summer. He's proven incapable of even identifying the best players to put on the field.

And yeah, we surely could use the Rossi kid.

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